Government of India. 21 June. Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH)

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1 Government of India INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA 21 June Common Yoga Protocol Miniry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH)

2 This booklet has been prepared in consultation with leading Yoga experts and heads of the eminent Yoga Initutions of India. Published by : Miniry of AYUSH Government of India AYUSH Bhawan, B-Block, GPO Complex, INA, New Delhi Disclaimer: The information provided in this Yoga protocol is intended to create general awareness among people and community to get harmony & peace through Yoga. The information, techniques and suggeions mentioned in this yoga protocol are not a subitute for the medical advice of physician. In a particular case that you may require diagnosis or medical attention, consult your health care provider before practicing Yoga. The publisher does not assume any responsibility or liability for any injury or loss that may result from practicing Yoga.

3 Content Message by Honb'le Prime Minier of India v Introduction 1 What is Yoga? 1 Brief hiory and development of Yoga 2 The Fundamentals of Yoga 3 Traditional Schools of Yoga 4 Yogic practices for health and wellness 4 General Guidelines for Yoga Practice 6 Food for thought 8 How Yoga can help? 8 1. Prayer 9 2. Sadilaja /C ālana Kriyas/Loosening Practices 9 I. Neck Bending 9 II. Trunk Movement 11 III. Knee Movement Yogāsanas 13 A. Standing Poure 13 Tādāsana 13 Vrịks āsana 13 Pāda-Haāsana 14 Ardha Cakrāsana 15 Trikoṇāsana 16

4 B. Siting Poure 17 Bhadrāsana 17 Ardha Uṣṭrāsana 18 Śaśānkāsana 19 Vakrāsana 20 C. Pron Poures 21 Bhujangāsana 21 Śalabhāsana 22 Makarāsana 23 D. Supine Poures 24 Śetubandhāsana 24 Pavanamuktāsana 25 Śavāsana Kapālabhāti Prāṇāyāma 29 Nadiśodhana / Anuloma Viloma Prāṇāyāma 29 Bhrāmarī Prāṇāyāma Dhyāna in Śambhavī Mudra Sankalpa Sạntih Pātha 33 Textual References 34

5 Message "Yoga is an invaluable gift of ancient Indian tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; reraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature and a holiic approach to health and well-being. Yoga is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with ourselves, the world and Nature. By changing our lifeyle and creating consciousness, it can help us to deal with climate change. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day." Speech of Honorable Prime Minier of India Shri Narendra th Modi at the 69 session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 27, v

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7 COMMON YOGA PROTOCOL INTRODUCTION th While addressing the 69 session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 27, 2014, the Honorable Prime Minier of India Shri Narendra Modi urged the world community to adopt an International Day of Yoga. "Yoga is an invaluable gift of ancient Indian tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; reraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature and a holiic approach to health and well-being. Yoga is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with ourselves, the world and Nature. By changing our lifeyle and creating consciousness, it can help us to deal with climate change. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day," Shri Modi said. On December 11, 2014, the 193 member UNGA approved the proposal by consensus with a record 177 co-sponsoring countries a resolution to eablish 21 June as "International Day of Yoga". In its resolution, the UNGA recognised that Yoga provides a holiic approach to health and well-being and wider dissemination of information about the benefits of practicing Yoga for the health of the world population. Yoga also brings harmony in all walks of life and thus, is known for disease prevention, health promotion and management of many lifeyle-related disorders. This booklet intends to give a brief overview about Yoga and Yogic practices to orient one towards comprehensive health for an individual and the community. What is Yoga? Yoga is essentially a spiritual discipline based on an extremely subtle science which focuses on bringing harmony between mind and body. 1

8 It is an art and science for healthy living. The word "Yoga" is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj meaning "to join", "to yoke" or "to unite". According to Yogic scriptures, the practice of Yoga leads to the union of individual consciousness with universal consciousness. According to modern scientis, everything in the universe is ju a manifeation of the same quantum firmament. One who experiences this oneness of exience is said to be "in Yoga" and is termed as a yogi who has attained a ate of freedom, referred to as mukti, nirvāna, kaivalya or moksha. "Yoga" also refers to an inner science comprising of a variety of methods through which human beings can achieve union between the body and mind to attain self-realisation. The aim of Yoga practice ( sādhana) is to overcome all kinds of sufferings that lead to a sense of freedom in every walk of life with holiic health, happiness and harmony. Brief hiory and development of Yoga The science of Yoga has its origin thousands of years ago, long before the fir religion or belief syems were born. According to Yogic lore, Shiva has seen as the fir yogi or ādiyogi and the fir guru or ādiguru. Several thousand years ago, on the banks of lake Kantisarovar in the Himalayas, ādiyogi poured his profound knowledge into the legendary saptarishis or "seven sages". These sages carried this powerful Yogic science to different parts of the world including Asia, the Middle Ea, northern Africa and South America. Intereingly, modern scholars have noted and marvelled at the close parallels found between ancient cultures across the globe. However, it was in India that the Yogic syem found its fulle expression. Agaya, the saptarishi who travelled across the Indian subcontinent, crafted this culture around a core Yogic way of life. Yoga is widely considered as an "immortal cultural outcome" of the Indus Saraswati Valley Civilisation dating back to 2700 BC and has 2

9 proven itself to cater to both material and spiritual uplift of humanity. A number of seals and fossil remains of Indus Saraswati Valley Civilisation with Yogic motifs and figures performing Yoga sādhana sugge the presence of Yoga in ancient India. The seals and idols of mother Goddess are suggeive of Tantra Yoga. The presence of Yoga is also available in folk traditions, Vedic and Upanishadic heritage, Buddhi and Jain traditions, Darshanas, epics of Mahabharata including Bhagawadgita and Ramayana, theiic traditions of Shaivas, Vaishnavas and Tantric traditions. Though Yoga was being practiced in the pre-vedic period, the great sage Maharishi Patanjali syematised and codified the then exiing Yogic practices, its meaning and its related knowledge through Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. After Patanjali, many sages and Yoga maers contributed greatly for the preservation and development of the field through welldocumented practices and literature. Yoga has spread all over the world by the teachings of eminent Yoga maers from ancient times to the present date. Today, everybody has conviction about Yoga practices towards the prevention of disease, maintenance and promotion of health. Millions and millions of people across the globe have benefitted by the practice of Yoga and the practice of Yoga is blossoming and growing more vibrant with each passing day. The Fundamentals of Yoga Yoga works on the level of one's body, mind, emotion and energy. This has given rise to four broad classifications of Yoga: Karma Yoga where we utilise the body; Jnāna Yoga where we utilise the mind; Bhakti Yoga where we utilise the emotion and Kriya Yoga where we utilise the energy. Each syem of Yoga we practice falls within the gamut of one or more of these categories. Every individual is a unique combination of these four factors. Only a guru (teacher) can advocate the appropriate combination of the four 3

10 fundamental paths as is necessary for each seeker. "All ancient commentaries on Yoga have ressed that it is essential to work under the direction of a guru." Traditional schools of Yoga The different philosophies, traditions, li neages and guru-shishya paramparas of Yoga led to the emergence of different traditional schools. These include Jnāna Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, Pātanjala Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Haṭha Yoga, Dhyāna Yoga, Mantra Yoga, Laya Yoga, Rāja Yoga, Jain Yoga, Bouddha Yoga etc. Each school has its own approach and practices that lead to the ultimate aim and objectives of Yoga. Yogic practices for health and wellness The widely practiced Yoga sadhanas are: Yama, Niyama, Āsana, Prānāyāma, Pratyāhara, Dhārana, Dhyāna, Samādhi, Bandhas and Mudras, Shatkarmas, Yuktāhāra, Mantra-japa, Yukta-karma etc. Yamas are reraints and Niyamas are observances. These are considered to be pre-requisites for further Yogic practices. Āsanas, capable of bringing about ability of body and mind, "kuryat-tadasanam-hairyam", involve adopting various psycho-physical body patterns and giving one an ability to maintain a body position (a able awareness of one's ructural exience) for a considerable length of time. Prānāyāma consis of developing awareness of one's breathing followed by willful regulation of respiration as the functional or vital basis of one's exience. It helps in developing awareness of one's mind and helps to eablish control over the mind. In the initial ages, this is done by developing awareness of the "flow of in-breath and out-breath" ( svāsa-prasvāsa) through norils, mouth and other body openings, its internal and external pathways and deinations. Later, this phenomenon is modified, through regulated, controlled 4

11 and monitored inhalation ( svāsa) leading to the awareness of the body space getting filled ( puraka), the space(s) remaining in a filled ate ( kumbhaka) and it getting emptied ( rechaka) during regulated, controlled and monitored exhalation ( prasvāsa). Pratyāhara indicates dissociation of one's consciousness (withdrawal) from the sense organs which connect with the external objects. Dhārana indicates broad based field of attention (inside the body and mind) which is usually underood as concentration. Dhyāna (meditation) is contemplation (focussed attention inside the body and mind) and Samādhi (integration). Bandhas and Mudras are practices associated with Prānāyāma. They are viewed as the higher yogic practices that mainly adopt certain physical geures along with control over respiration. This further facilitates control over mind and paves way for higher Yogic attainment. However, practice of dhyāna, which moves one towards self-realisation and leads one to transcendence, is considered the essence of Yoga Sādhana. Śaṭkarmas are detoxification procedures that are clinical in nature and help to remove the toxins accumulated in the body. Yuktāhāra advocates appropriate food and food habits for healthy living. 5

12 General Guidelines for Yoga Practice A Yoga practitioner should follow the guiding principles given below while performing Yogic practices: BEFORE THE PRACTICE Śauca means cleanliness - an important prerequisite for Yogic practice. It includes cleanliness of surroundings, body and mind. Yogic practice should be performed in a calm and quiet atmosphere with a relaxed body and mind. Yogic practice should be done on an empty omach or light omach. Consume small amount of honey in lukewarm water if you feel weak. Bladder and bowels should be empty before arting Yogic practices. A mattress, Yoga mat, durrie or folded blanket should be used for the practice. Light and comfortable cotton clothes are preferred to facilitate easy movement of the body. Yoga should not be performed in ate of exhauion, illness, in a hurry or in acute ress conditions. In case of chronic disease/ pain/ cardiac problems, a physician or a Yoga therapi should be consulted prior to performing Yogic practices. Yoga experts should be consulted before doing Yogic practices during pregnancy and menruation. 6

13 DURING THE PRACTICE Practice sessions should art with a prayer or invocation as it creates a conducive environment to relax the mind. Yogic practices shall be performed slowly, in a relaxed manner, with awareness of the body and breath. Do not hold the breath unless it is specially mentioned to do so during the practice. Breathing should be always through the norils unless inructed otherwise. Do not hold body tightly, or jerk the body at any point of time. Perform the practices according to your own capacity. It takes some time to get good results, so persient and regular practice is very essential. There are contra-indications/ limitations for each Yoga practice and such contra-indications should always be kept in mind. Yoga session should end with meditation/ deep silence / Śhānti paṭha. AFTER PRACTICE Bath may be taken only after minutes of practice. Food may be consumed only after minutes of practice. 7

14 FOOD FOR THOUGHT A few dietary guidelines can ensure that the body and mind are flexible and well-prepared for practice. A vegetarian diet is usually recommended, and for a person over 30 years, two meals a day should suffice, except in cases of illness or very high physical activity or labour. HOW YOGA CAN HELP Yoga is essentially a path to liberation from all bondage. However, medical research in recent years has uncovered many physical and mental benefits that Yoga offers, corroborating the experiences of millions of practitioners. A small sampling of research shows that: Yoga is beneficial for physical fitness, musculoskeletal functioning and cardio-vascular health. It is beneficial in the management of diabetes, respiratory disorders, hypertension, hypotension and many lifeylerelated disorders. Yoga helps to reduce depression, fatigue, anxiety disorders and ress. Yoga regulates menopausal symptoms. In essence, Yoga is a process of creating a body and mind that are epping-ones, not hurdles, to an exuberant and fulfilling life. 8

15 Common Yoga Protocol 1 PRAYER Yogic Practice shall art with a prayer or prayerful mood to enhance the benefits of practice. laxpn/oa laon/oa la oks eukafl tkurke~ nsok Hkkxa ;Fkk iwosz l tkukuk miklrsaa Saṃgacchadhvaṃ saṃvadadhvaṃ saṃ vo manāṃsi jānatām devā bhāgaṃ yathā pūrve sañjānānā upāsate May you move in harmony; may you speak in unison; let our mind be equanimous like in the beginning; let the divinity manife in your sacred endeavours. SADILAJA / C ĀLANA KRIYAS / LOOSENING PRACTICES 2 The C ā lana Kriyas/loosening practices / Yogic Suksma Vyāyāmas help to increase microcirculation. These practices can be done while anding and sitting. I. NECK BENDING Sthiti: Samahiti (Alert Poure) Stage - i : (Forward and Backward Bending) o Stand with the feet comfortably apart. o Keep the hands raight beside the body. o This is Samahiti. This is also called Tādāsana. o Keep your arms on the wai. o While exhaling, move the head forward slowly and try to touch the chin to the che. 9

16 Common Yoga Protocol o While inhaling, move the head as far back as is comfortable. o This is one round: repeat 2 rounds. Stage - ii : (Right and Left bending) o While exhaling, bend the head slowly to the right; bring the ear as close as possible to the shoulder w i t h o u t ra i s i n g t h e shoulder. o While inhaling, bring the head to normal position. o Similarly, while exhaling, bend the head to the left side. o Inhale and bring the head up to normal position. o This is one round: repeat 2 rounds. Stage - iii : (Right and Left Twiing) o Keep the head upright. o While exhaling, gently turn the head to the right so that the chin is in line with the shoulder. o While inhaling, bring the head to the normal position. o Similarly, while exhaling, turn the head to the left. o Inhale and bring the head to the normal position. o This is one round: repeat 2 rounds. Stage - iv : Neck Rotation o Exhale; bend the head forward trying to touch the chin to the che. 10

17 Common Yoga Protocol o Inhale; slowly rotate the head clockwise in a circular motion, exhale while coming down o Do a full rotation. o Then rotate the head in anti-clockwise direction. o Inhale; go back and exhale, come down. o This is one round: repeat 2 rounds. Note: o Move the head as far as possible. Do not over rain. o Keep the shoulders relaxed and eady. o Feel the retch around the neck and loosening up of the joints and muscles of the neck. o Can be practiced sitting in a chair. o People with neck pain can do the practice gently especially when taking the head back to the extent it is comfortable. o Elderly people and persons with cervical spondylitis, high blood pressure may avoid these practices. II. TRUNK MOVEMENT Trunk Twiing (Katishakti Vikasak) Sthiti: Samahiti (Alert Poure) o Keep the legs about 2-3 feet apart. o Rise both the arms up to che level with palms facing each other and keep them parallel. 11

18 o While exhaling twi the body towards the left side so that the right palm touches the left shoulder, come back with inhalation. o While exhaling twi the body towards the right side so that the left palm touches the right shoulder, come back with inhalation. o This is one round: repeat two more times. o Relax in Samahiti. Note: o Do slowly with breathing. o Cardiac patients shall do with care. o Avoid this practice in case of severe back pain, vertebral and disc disorders, after abdominal surgery and during menruation. III. KNEE MOVEMENT Sthiti: Sama Sthiti (Alert Poure) o Inhale, lift your arms up at the shoulder level, palms facing downwards. o Exhale, bend the knees and bring down your body to the squatting position. o In the final position both the arms and thighs should be parallel to the ground. o Inhale, and raighten the body. o Exhale while bringing down the hands. o Repeat two more times. Note: o Strengthen knees' and hips' joint. o Avoid this asana in case of acute conditions of arthritics. 12

19 3 YOGĀSANAS A. STANDING POSTURES TĀDĀ SANA(Palm Tree Poure) Tāda means palm tree or mountain. This asana teaches one to attain ability and firmness and forms the base for all the anding asana. o Stand with feet 2 inches apart. o Interlock the fingers, and turn the wri outwards. Now inhale, raise the arms up and bring them in line with the shoulders. o Raise the heels off the floor and balance on the toes. Stay in this position for seconds. o Exhale, bring the heels down. o Release the interlock of the fingers and bring the arms down parallel to the trunk, and come back to anding poure. Benefits o This asana brings ability in the body, helps to clear up congeion of the spinal nerves, corrects faulty poure. o Helps to increase height up to a certain age. A word of caution o Avoid lifting the toes in case of acute cardiac problems varicose veins and vertigo. VRKŚĀSANA (The Tree Poure) Vrḳśa means tree. The final position of this āsana resembles the shape of a tree, hence the name. o Stand with feet 2 inches apart. 13

20 o o Focus on a point in front. Exhale, bend the right leg and place the foot on the inside of the left thigh. The heel should be touching the perineum. o Inhale and extend the arms up and join the palms. o Stay in the position for 10 to 30 seconds and breathe normally. o Exhale and bring the arms and right foot down. o Relax and repeat the asana by bending the left leg. Benefits o Improves neuro-muscular coordination, balance, endurance and alertness. o It tones up the leg muscles and rejuvenates the ligaments also. A word of caution o Please avoid this practice in case of arthritis, vertigo and obesity. PĀDA-HASTĀSANA (The Hands to Feet Poure) Pāda means feet, haa means hands. Therefore, Pāda Haāsana means taking the palms down towards the feet. This is also referred as Uttānāsana. o Stand raight with feet 2 inches apart. o Inhale slowly and raise the arms up. o Stretch up the body from the wai. o Exhale and bend forward until the trunk is parallel to the ground. 14

21 o Exhale, and bend forward until the entire palm res on the ground. o Maintain this final poure for seconds. o Those who are having iff back should bend according to their capacity. o Now inhale, come up slowly to the vertical position and retch the arms above the head. o Exhale and slowly return to the arting position in reverse order. o Relax in Tādāsana. Benefits o Makes the spine flexible, improves digeions, and prevents conipation and menrual problems. A word of caution o Please avoid this practice in case of cardiac or back problems, abdominal inflammation, hernia and ulcers, high myopia, vertigo and during pregnancy. o Those with vertebral and disc disorders should also avoid this practice. ARDHA CẠKRĀSANA (The Half Wheel Poure) Ardha means half. Cạkra means wheel. In this poure, as the body takes the shape of a half wheel, hence it is called Ardha Cạkrāsasna. o Support the back at the wai with all the fingers together pointing forward or downward. o Drop the head backwards and retching the neck muscles. As you inhale, bend backwards from the lumbar region; exhale and relax. 15

22 o Stay here for seconds with normal breathing. o Inhale and slowly come up. Benefits o Ardha Cạkrāsana makes the spine flexible and rengthens the spinal nerves. o Strengthens the neck muscles, and improves breathing capacity. o Helps in cervical spondylitis. A word of caution o Avoid this poure in case of vertigo or a tendency to giddiness. o Hypertensive patients shall bend with care. TRIKON ĀSANA (The Triangle Poure) Trikonạ means triangle. Tri means three and kona is an angle. As the āsana resembles three arms triangles made by the trunk and the limbs, it has been named Trikon āsana. o Stand with your feet comfortably apart. o Slowly raise both the arms sideways till they are horizontal. o Exhale, slowly bend to the right side and place the right hand ju behind the right foot. o The left arm is raight up, in line with the right arm. o Turn the left palm forward. o Turn your head and gaze at the tip of the left middle finger. o Remain in the poure for seconds with normal breathing. 16

23 o As you inhale slowly come up. o Repeat for the left side. Benefits o Prevents flat foot. o Strengthens calf, thigh and wai muscles. o Makes the spine flexible, improves lungs capacity. A word of caution o Avoid this poure in case of slipped disc, sciatica, and after undergoing abdominal surgery. o Do not do beyond limits and overdo the lateral retch. o If one cannot touch the feet, one can reach for the knees inead. B. SITTING POSTURES BHADRĀSANA (The Firm/ Auspicious Poure) Bhadhra means firm or auspicious. Sthiti: Long sitting poure (Visṛāmāsana) o Sit erect with the legs retched out raight in the front. o Keep the hands beside the hips. This is Dandāsana. o Now put the soles of your feet together. o Exhale and clasp your hands together over your toes. Pull your heels as close as possible up to perineum region. o If your thighs are not touching or are not close to the floor, place a soft cushion underneath the knees for support. This is the final position. o Stay here for some time 17

24 Benefits o Keeps the body firm and abilize the mind. o Keeps the knees and hip joints healthy. o Helps to relieve knee pain. o Acts on the abdominal organs and releases any tension in the abdomen. o Benefits women by relieving abdominal pain often experienced during menruation. A word of caution Avoid this practice in case of severe arthritis and sciatica. ARDHA USTR ĀSANA (The Half Camel Poure) Sthiti: Long sitting poure (Visṛāmāsana) Uṛa means camel. The final version of this āsana resembles the hump of a camel. In this version, only the fir age (half) of the āsana is being practiced. o Sit in Visṛāmāsana. o Come to Dandāsana. o Fold your legs and sit on your heels. o Keep the thighs close and big toes touching. o Place the hands on the knees. o The head and back should be raight. o This is Vajrāsana. o Stand on your knees. o Place the hands on the wai with fingers pointing downward. o Keep the elbows and shoulders parallel. 18

25 Common Yoga Protocol o Bend the head back and retch the neck muscles; inhale and bend the trunk backwards as much as possible. As you exhale, relax. o Keep the thighs perpendicular to the ground. o Remain in the poure for seconds with normal breathing. o Return with inhalation; sit in Vajrāsana. o Relax in Visṛāmāsana. Note o If you can reach the heels, you can place your hands on them and bend backwards. This is called Usṭrāsana. Benefits o Relieves conipation and back pain. o Increases blood circulation to the head and cardiac region. A word of caution o In case of hernia and abdominal injuries, arthritis, vertigo and pregnancy, please avoid doing this āsana. ŚAŚANKĀSANA (The Hare Poure) Śaśanka means hare. Sthiti: Vajrāsana o Sit in Vajrāsana. o Spread both the knees wide apart, keep the big toes touching. o Keep the palms between the knees. o Exhale and slowly retch them full length. o Bend forward and place the chin on the ground. 19

26 o Keep the arms parallel. o Look in front and maintain the poure. o Inhale and come up. o Exhale and come back to Vajrāsan. o Stretch your legs back to Visṛāmāsan Benefits o It helps to reduce ress, anger etc o It tones up reproductive organs, relieves conipation, improves digeion and relieves back pain. A word of caution o Please avoid this poure in case of acute backache. o Patients with oeoarthritis of the knees should exercise with caution or avoid Vajrāsana. VAKRĀSANA (The Spinal Twi Poure) Vakra means twied. In this āsana, the spine is twied which has a rejuvenating effect on its functioning. Sthiti: Dandāsana o Bend the right leg, and place the right foot beside the left knee. o As you exhale, twi the body to the right. o Bring the left arm around the right knee and clasp the right big toe or place the palm beside right foot. o Take the right arm back and keep the palm on the ground with the back raight. o Remain in the poure for seconds with normal breathing and relax. 20

27 o Take out your hands with exhalation and relax o Repeat the same on the other side. Benefits o Increases flexibility of the spine. o Helps to overcome conipation, dyspepsia. o Stimulates pancreas and helps in the management of diabetes. A word of caution o Please avoid this poure in case of severe back pain, vertebral and disc disorders, after abdominal surgery and during menruation. C. PRONE POSTURES BHUJANGĀSANA (The Cobra Poure) Bhujanga means snake or cobra. In this āsana, the body is raised like hood of a snake. Stithi: Prone poure or Makarāsana o Lie down on your omach, re you head on your hands and relax the body. o Now join your legs and retch your arms. Sarala Bhujangāsana o Keep the forehead on the ground. o Now place your hands ju beside the body; keep palms and elbows on the ground. o As you inhale slowly, lift the chin and che come up to navel region. o Stay there comfortably. o This is called Sarala Bhujangāsana. 21

28 o Now come back and place your forehead on the ground. o Keep your palms besides the che where your elbows were and raise the elbows. o Inhale; slowly lift the chin and che up to navel region. This is Bhujangāsana. Bhujangāsana o Exhale, re your forehead on the ground and place your palms and re your head on the palms and spread your legs and relax. Note: o Keep the legs firm so that no load or rain is felt on the lumbar spine. Benefits o This āsana is be for ress management. o It reduces abdominal fat and alleviates conipation. o It also helps to remove backache and bronchial problems. A word of caution o Those who have undergone abdominal surgery should avoid this asana for 2-3 months. o Those who suffer from hernia, ulcers should not practice this asana. ŚALABHĀSANA (The Locu Poure) Śalaba means a locu. Sthiti: Prone poure; Makarāsana o Lie down on your omach in Makarāsana. o Re the chin on the floor; keep both hands beside the body; palms facing upwards 22

29 o Inhale, raise the legs off the floor as much as you can without bending the knees. o Extend the arms and legs well to ease the lift of the body off the floor. o Stay in this position for seconds breathing normally. o Exhale, bring the legs down towards the floor. o Re for a few seconds in Makarāsana. Note: o Pull up the knee caps and squeeze the buttocks to improve the poure. This āsana is more beneficial when performed after Bhujangāsana Benefits o Helps in sciatica and lower backache. o Tones the hip muscles and those in the kidney region. o Reduces fat on the thighs and buttocks; good in weight management o Helps the abdominal organs aiding digeion A word of caution o Cardiac patients should avoid this poure. Please proceed cautiously in case of sever lower back pain. o People with high blood pressure, peptic ulcers and hernia should also avoid this poure. MAKARĀSANA (The Crocodile Poure) In Sanskrit, Makara means crocodile. In this āsana, the body resembles a crocodile. Sthiti: Prone relaxation poure 23

30 o Lie down on your omach with the feet wide apart, feet pointing outward. o Bend both the arms and place the right hand on the left hand. o Place the forehead on your hands. o Keep the eyes closed. This is Makarāsana. o This asana is practiced for relaxation in all prone poures. Benefits o Promotes relaxation of the lower back. o Helps in recovery of back problems. o Indicated for all orthopedic ailments. o Indicated to counter ress and anxiety. A word of caution o Avoid this practice in case of low blood pressure, severe cardiac problems and pregnancy. D. SUPINE POSTURES SETUBANDHĀSANA (The Bridge Poure) Setubandha means formation of bridge. In this poure, the body is positioned like a bridge, hence the name. This is also called as Cạtus pādāsana. Sthiti: Supine lying; Śavāsana. o Bend both the legs at the knees and bring the heels near the buttocks. o Hold both the ankles firmly; keep the knees and feet in one raight line. 24

31 o Inhale; slowly raise your buttocks and trunk up as much as you can to form bridge. o Remain in this position for seconds, with normal breathing. o Exhale, slowly return to the original position and relax in Śavāsana. Note o In the final position, the shoulders and head remain in contact with the floor. o If required, in the final position, you can support your body at the wai with your hands. Benefits o Relieves depression and anxiety. Strengthens lower back muscles. o Stretches abdominal organs, improves digeion and helps to relieve conipation. A word of caution o People suffering from ulcers and hernia, and women in advanced ages of pregnancy should not practice this asana. PAVANAMUKTĀSANA (The Wind Releasing Poure) Pavan means wind and mukta means to release or to make free. As the name sugges, this asana is useful in removing wind or flatulence from the omach and inteines. Sthiti: Śavāsana o Lie down flat on the back. o Bend both the knees and bring the thighs to the che. o Interlock the fingers and clasp the shin below knees. 25

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